Fundamentals of Football

I have decided to write this piece in a bid to react to what really makes a good football player (Reactionary to “is this the time to sell Walcott?”) particularly when it comes to delivering in the required playing position. I believe the knowledge of the facts of an issue will result in better formulation of opinions.

The fundamentals of football relates to the following:

1. The Player

2. The Team

3. The Formation

4. The Positions

So we will consider the fundamentals of football within the spectrum of these four key aspects

1. The Player

There are basic requirements needed for an individual to qualify as a football player.

a. Ball Control: Ball control is primarily the ability to position a ball such that it favours the overall objective of getting a goal. In other words, to get a goal, a player must be able to receive a pass, make a pass and shoot at goal. Basic skills needed here are Foot Control of Ball, Chesting, Heading (Nodding), Kicking (Shooting), and Movement (Running, Jumping, and Sweeping)

b. Ball Possession: In the event where the opposition has the ball, a player is required to possess the basic ability:  technical or physical or both to dispossess the opponent of the ball for the purpose of gaining or regaining possession. For example Marking and Tackling

c. Team Play: when it is a game, it only means there is more than one. There is no such game with only one person involved. At least there must be the player and the coach, and in this discourse, there are more than one and thus the necessity for Team play.

d. Knowledge of the rules.

2. The Team

The Team that will play football and win will have the following basic requirements

a. Desire to win: Since football is a game, it is just thus a fact that if there is no desire to win, there is no need to play. Of course somebody will say you can play for pleasure, but I dare ask ‘is there any pleasure in Loosing?’ Desire to win or lose will be betrayed by Urgency, Grit, Determination, Believe etc.

b. Tactics: There must be the development of a tactic to overcome the opposition.

c. Tactical discipline: The ability to see out a game according to tactics must be present in a team

d. Knowledge of the rules.

3. The formation

The fundamental requirements of any formation are

a. Departments: Ranging from Defense, to Mid-field, to Attack, A formation must possess those three. Each of these three may be sub-divided to accommodate details (Positions).

b. Balance: To assist in the overall objective of overcoming the opposition, the team must be able to achieve result without any department faltering.

4. The Positions

Each Position in The Department, in The Formation and in The Team defines qualities that are fundamental to The Player. Therefore, taking the fundamentals required from a player and defined in the position the player must play are here listed

a. Defense: Stamina, Tackling, Vision, Swiftness, Link-up play, Game Reader

b. Mid-field: Stamina, Tackling, Vision, Swiftness, Link-up play, Hold-up play, Distribution, Dribbling, Game Reader.

c. Attack: Stamina, Tackling, Vision, Swiftness, Dribbling, Finishing,

Considering these fundamentals, to succeed at the top top level like Arsene will normally say, A player must possess all the afore mentioned qualities in degrees that qualifies him as a professional and additional qualities that distinguishes him for the position, for the formation, for the team and also not forgetting for the opposition. In reacting to if Theo Walcott is a necessity or a player Arsenal should do away with, I think we need to consider what Theo has that is peculiar to him. Speed, Penetrating run, Accurate pin-pointed cross-in (Grounder or Lofted), and lately superb finishing, I think he is a player suitable for teams playing Highline or generally lack tactical and positional awareness. Also, considering he is 23 years old, I think it is only logical to allow him develop other innate skills that a player can only get as he ages and hope he turns out the kind of player that can show up for any kind of opposition.

I believe with these submission, we can fairly assess a player and determine if he is suitable for Arsenal or not.

Thank you.

Written by Timmy

100 Responses to Fundamentals of Football

  1. […] Fundamentals of Football […]

  2. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Timmy 🙂

    Thank you for a thorough dissection of the fundamentals of football. Your maiden post is simply original, as I cannot remember anybody doing something similar before. It makes me wonder what you do in real life: with such strong analytical skills I would not be surprised if it turns out you are a scientist, an accountant, or a detective.

    I agree with your conclusions against your fundamentals on Theo. I would like to add that his first touch from long-distance passes to him is second to none.

  3. evonne says:

    Hi Timmy, GREAT post! I love your back to basics approach. I and probably many others have learnt about football as you learn a mother tongue, as you go along. The result being that you never learn the grammar and some foreigners (not me) speak more grammatically correctly than some natives. So to have a lesson for free is a great treat, thank you Timmy

  4. evonne says:

    Timmy – the foreigner that commented before me is a perfect example

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, what are you saying mein Schätzchen?! You wrote some very fine posts recently, in very well composed and written English. 🙂

    I sincerely hope you are working on another one as we speak.

    And well done the Poles for organising such a fine tournament! 🙂

  6. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Wow Timmy,
    Bloody nearly spot on. One catastrophic omission, your list should have gone like this:

    1. The Player
    2. The Team
    3. The Formation
    4. The Positions
    5. The Underwear

    On a less serious note, very well written, and it is so easy to forget the basics. As I’ve long argued, it is not complicated. Thank you.

  7. Timmy says:

    TA, That’s a complement for sure, thanks. On Theo, that’s just it, that special skill, “Long-distance” pass control. I think if he improves on dribbling,his all-round play will improve drastically, and he will find relevance in teams that sit back.

    Evonne, your comment is a treat likewise. VIctor wooten once said about music-it’s like language, you don’t learn the rules first, you speak it, then you learn the rules. The same is for Football, play the ball and learn the rules

    MickyD, the basics makes it simple. Fabio Cannavaro once commented on Zidane “…he is a master in the basics-Control and Pass”. I also believes the best footballers are masters in that aspect.


    Thanks Timmy, a realy well thought out post. Allow me to congratulate you.

    Now ive congratulated you allow me to have a go at you. Why didnt you tell me these things before? Could have saved me a lot of heartache. i remember as a kid going for training with this local Saturday team with my mate Johnson. After the training i could hear the manager and captain saying, “yeah that new kid is a realy good player, fast, lovely skill and realy strong, weve got to sign him up” i felt like a million dollors, great, fantastic, images of playing and scoing hatricks in front of admiring men and lovely girls who fancied the pants of me all flashed through my mind. Whilst indulging these almost erotic fantasys i then heard the manager say “That other kid Mancini is a bit shit though”. hahahahaha

  9. Rasp says:

    Congratulations Timmy on an epic maiden post …… a complete forensic analysis of modern day football at that!

    I’m sure no-one will take issue with the points you make. Reciognising the potential for the attributes you describe in a young player is an art form in itself. The coaches have to be able to bring out the best in the player and to be tactically astute to maximise the potential of the team.

  10. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Timmy, I don’t think Theo should learn to dribble. If he was any good at it, he would be able to do it by now. I am a big believer that people should concentrate on their strengths rather than their (perceived) weaknesses.

    Cesc knew about Theo’s strengths and weaknesses and simply provided him with the sort of service that focussed on the former. Hopefully for him, and for us, he will get better service next season compared to last season.

    The bid that Theo will learn to do better, though, is his decision-making/ delivery of final ball: this will come with experience, and as he is only 23 now, we should be very hopeful that he will improve this significantly over the next few years.

  11. Gooner In Exile says:

    Thanks for the post Timmy. A studied dissection of the qualities required.

    I often feel that when some of the fans compare players to what’s on offer at other clubs they only ever watch the highlight reels.

    How many last season said Bale is so much better than Walcott, the difference in contribution is marginal, but as we tend to watch 90 minutes of Arsenal and 10 minute highlights of others it’s no surprise we think those outside Arsenal are better because we base the view on their highlight reels

  12. LB says:

    Close control: the ability to operate effectively when space is at a premium.

  13. TotalArsenal says:

    Klose control: the ability to neutralise the German attackers. 🙂


    Been one of those Accountant types i have stumbled across a fantastic investment opportunity which i would like to share with all of you.

    Arsenal are 12-1 to win the Premeir League. This is a fantastic opportunity for any sane and right minded individual to make very profitable returns. I reccomend doing the bet now because the more people that lump on to the price the faster it will shorten.

    Dont say i dont do nothing for you. hahaha

  15. Timmy says:

    TA 10:43am, what Theo lacks in one-on-one dribbles, he compensates for in pace, and as you said, you need a Fabregasque midfielder to exploit his pace to the peak

    GIE, can’t be better said, we know little of the players we assume are better than our players.

    I didn’t include anything about the Goalkeeper just because it is another level of skill required. But it also has it’s own fundamentals. We’ll look forward to that.

  16. TotalArsenal says:

    Terry, before I put £1000 pound on the bet, my wife would like to have a word with you… something about giving guarantees, balls on the block etc. What’s your number? 🙂

    Timmy, can I ask you where you are based/ where you are from?


    No problem TA. cant be contacted by phone but i can be reached at,

    HMP Broadmoor
    Seclusion Unit 27
    Terrys Padded Cell
    RG45 7EG

  18. Timmy says:

    Nationality: Nigerian
    Base: Lagos
    Discipline: Electrical Engineering

  19. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha Terry, this was my wife’s reaction to your address: 😯

  20. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Timmy, wow! As far as I know, you are the first Africa-based post writer on AA, but Rasp will know more about this. Top stuff. Not a big surprise for me that your occupation is electrical engineer.

    Will you be able to see the boys this summer?


    TA, for some strange reason, in “Unit 27” theres a lot of people with that boggled eye look. hahahaha

  22. TotalArsenal says:

    You mean the ‘Ozil’ look! 😆


    hahaha, yeah, Ozil gives me the creeps. Imagine him with some wings and antenae, he would make a perfect Locust. Great player though….for an insect.

  24. Big Raddy says:

    Timmy. Very interesting to read how others see football.

    Your post is both informative and in places very funny. I like the need for a team to have more than one player 😀

  25. Timmy says:

    Hi TA, that’s surprising to me also. I am really not yet decided if I’ll be going to watch the boys. But there’s a larger percentage I won’t be there.

  26. Red Arse says:

    Very nicely thought through and well written maiden Post. 🙂

    Can I suggest you might want to add to your list of ‘football fundamentals’; The Manager; The Tactics, The Opposition.

    With regard to “The Player” requirements, you might feel that tactical awareness and positional play are also key and need to be stressed more.

    These are just random thoughts and you have mentioned them elsewhere in your piece, so I will not continue because they do not detract from the points you raise.

    I would be interested to see your rating of Theo performances against the ‘tick list’ you have supplied, particularly in the categories of ‘mid-fielder’ or ‘forward’.

    Anyway — well done, sir! 🙂

  27. Great first post Timmy,
    I just had a doubt…..shouldn’t the players’ individual attitude be included as one of the fundamentals as well? I mean a bad-attitude player(Barton, Balotelli etc) might affect the cohesion and morale of a team as a whole…..My question is stemming from the recent rumors that Wenger has doubts about M’vila because of his attitude which I find surprising….Wenger has handled more volatile personalities before eg: Vieira, RVP, Adams etc.


  28. Timmy says:

    Hi RA, the real intention is for the post to be a series of fundamentals starting from football and stretching to Football Management, Football Tactics, Football Goal keeping and so on.

    Sagar, I really will not like us to confuse ‘fundamentals’ with ‘details’. The real issues is the details of such as football will be very much dependent on the handler, in this case the manager

  29. Anotherswissgooner says:

    Clothes control:
    The ability to not “inadvertently” advertise betting sites on international TV through the medium of underwear.

    Great post Timmy, I agree that Theo warrants more examination before letting him leave.

  30. jnyc says:

    Hi Timmy, great post. Even better reading for relatively new gunners like me. One point, im still ok with keeping Theo as part of the mix,maybe used a little more selectively,and at a decent price. Its a fact that he wont develop certain ball dribbling skills at this point. But, like with 99 percent of the situations, it will come down to money. We cant afford to lose him for nothing next season. —-
    —- im also glad you mentioned discipline, i think that is the key for us as a team defensively. We had some great stretches on defense last season, helped us climb back near the top. But near the end of the season, we became frustratingly sloppy.

  31. TotalArsenal says:

    There are so many ways to dissect anything, especially something as widely and unendingly discussed as football. We all apply our scalpel subjectively and will come out of the process with different fundamentals, building blocks, key areas etc, etc.

    The problem with dissecting anything is that once you’ve started you realise quickly how difficult it is to come back out of the process with an all-encompassing theory, that will be recognised and accepted by everybody. Clearly, that is not going to happen.

    What I like about Timmy’s post is that he has given it a go and by doing so he has given us an insight of how he looks at football (Raddy said the same earlier), and subsequently makes us question our own assumptions/ dissections. For that, I wish to thank you Timmy. 🙂

  32. TotalArsenal says:

    ASG, that comment is pants 😀

  33. Timmy says:

    TA, I just hope my head won’t swell to bursting point with this complement. I think it is a general duty to have our opinions based on facts and make every effort to achieve that.

  34. Anotherswissgooner says:

    I’m here all night, tip your waitress!

  35. Anotherswissgooner says:

    TA, Rasp, RA and the rest of the old guard.
    For the newcomers among us to this site, would it be possible to post a brief history of the site, how (or more importantly why) it began and all that? It would interest me very much.

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi ASG, I have tipped her handsomely! 😉

    Rasp or Peaches are the best guys to explain the exact history. There is a little bit of info under the ‘About AA’ button at the top of the site, but I am sure either of the above mentioned will add some more info as soon as they can.

  37. Red Arse says:

    Hi ASG, 🙂

    TA and I are relative newcomers to AA (approx 18 mths) but I can tell you that, from memory, Rasp and Peaches administer the site, while there are a number of others Bug Raddy and Kelsey to the fore, all used to blog on Le Grove.

    They apparently grew disenchanted with the way that site had gone and decided to set up Arsenal Arsenal.

    That is all I know (or don’t know, depending on how well I remember the story), but I am sure when one of them comes on site again they will explain better.

    Not much help, was I? 🙂

  38. Red Arse says:

    TA, Snap!! 🙂

  39. evonne says:

    RA – you are in trouble
    number 1 – Rasp is the boss, Peaches is the Admin
    number 2 – you forgot to mention Dandan, LB and Irish as co-founders
    number 3 – the Head Office is at the Tavern

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi Sagar T, I agree with you that character/attitude of a player is of vital importance. You only have to look at Holland and France in the Euros this year. Bundles of talent, skills and experience but too many players with the wrong attitude and values, and as a result two very good teams have simply imploded (again!).

    It must be quite hard to gauge whether a player will have/develop the right attitude, and even Wenger did get it wrong a few times (Diarra, Bendtner, Adebayor, Nasri, etc spring to mind). At the same time, we do not need a bunch of totally well behaved professionals – we also need a bit of hairy-arsed street wisdom, a bit of a healthy mean streak, a fighter’s mentality and a willingness to protect fellow players when they are being targeted by the opposition.

    To find all those characteristics in 11-24 players is no mean feat, but get the balance wrong and it will cost us.

  41. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, you spank him for that! 😀

  42. evonne says:

    TA – he’d love that no doubt

  43. TotalArsenal says:

    Evonne, especially if you read poetry to him simultaneously! 😛

  44. evonne says:

    TA – that I couldn’t do, too analytical to be poetic or romantic

  45. chas says:

    Thanks for an interesting post, Timmy.

    I’d imagine an analytical mind like Wenger’s would enjoy such a post as he seems to place great store by statistics and planning.

    My reactions to football and those that play it are all gut-based. Did we play well? Did we score more goals than the opposition? Did Theo flatter to deceive or did he rip the soul from the carcass of the rotting spuds? My mind struggles to raise itself above this base level. 🙂

  46. glic says:

    Fine post Timmy. The detail of some of the posts on here is superb, I dont know how you do It, well done . My stuff is a lot shorter to coincide with my short memory and amnesia !

  47. glic says:

    Fine postTimmy. The detail of some of the posts on here is superb, I dont know how you do It, well done . My stuff is a lot shorter to coincide with my short memory and amnesia !

  48. glic says:

    Fine post Timmy. The detail of some of the posts on here is superb, I dont know how you do It. well done. My stuff is a lot shorter to coincide with my short memory and amnesia !

  49. glic says:

    With such detail, you should do a post about the Play Boy life style of a ludicrously handsome AAer like……………….me.

    1) The Player…………….me
    2) The Team……………..AA
    3) The Formation…………..In for the kill !
    4) The Position…………….The Kamasutra had to be re-written to incorporate the Glicsutra !.

    Ps, I share a cell with a mirror next to TMHT !. 😯

  50. LB says:

    While I think it is correct to say that the names mentioned above got frustrated with Le Grove it is not correct to say that AA was founded as a reaction to that. In fact two other disillusioned bloggers of LG called Avenal and Jonjon set up a site called Avenell Road which successfully lasted for about a season and half. All the names mentioned above joined before the principal owner Avenell decided to close the site mid debate. So just to make the point clear it would be the equivalent of Peaches coming on here in an hour and saying that the site is closed — it no longer exists. It was a shock I remember me and Rasp were in mid-debate.
    Peaches then formed Peaches Pad, she no doubt asked Rasp along then BR then Kelsey and then myself (sorry if I have forgotten someone).
    Peaches Pad turned into AA although I voted for “Ooh-Too-Be”, wrongly as I now see.

    The rest is history

  51. Anotherswissgooner says:

    Cheers for the info all, I suspected some of this already.
    I read le grove along with Arseblog and some others. Arsebloggers hilarious live commentary of games got me going Arsenal/Internet wise.
    I very much enjoy the debates and the discussions on here, the refusal to descend to bile and insults is refreshing.

  52. Anotherswissgooner says:


    The tavern? Is it in London? I’ll have to make the pilgrimage next time I’m in London. My wife’s family is from north London.

  53. California Gooner says:

    I want to give a shout out to Total Arsenal. I completely missed the discussion on RVP as our new #10. I had been thinking about this exact issue as I tried to puzzle out our summer signings. The fact that we had not addressed this issue puzzled me and I had wondered if Wenger didn’t want to put a striker in front of RVP. If that happens, it will give him more space to operate and he will be devastating! With Giroud holding the ball up, Poldolski, RVP and Walcott would have lots of chances to score as well.

    Anyhow, thanks to Total for putting this article out here. I’m sorry I missed the discussion — for me it is the most interesting one of the summer.

  54. Big Raddy says:

    My choice was for Arsenal Comment (having a little French flavour to it).

    Pleased Arsenal Arsenal won, though I remain convinced the voting was rigged 🙂

  55. chas says:

    It must have been rigged if you scroll down and ‘view results’ of the poll, there are no votes for Arsenal Comment!
    Comme de poisson.

  56. evonne says:

    Another – yes, it is 5mins walk from the Ems. If you ever go there before the game, walk into the pub, keep right and you should see a few lads by the window. The handsome one is Chas, he will do the rest, ie get you drunk, organise tickets, etc etc

    LB – thank you for the info, I didn’t know about Peaches Pad; somehow I thought that Rasp started it all.

  57. Big Raddy says:

    Swiss. The Tavern is close to the ground and a fine place to meet fellow AA’ers in order to enjoy some banter and liquid refreshment.

  58. Big Raddy says:

    As you say Chas. Che puzza di pesce

  59. Anotherswissgooner says:

    I’ll definitely come this season at least once!

  60. chas says:

    Evonne is the one who should wear milk bottle top glasses to cure her defective vision, but refuses to on the grounds of vanity.
    Chary is the one who gets people drunk (including himself).
    Oh, and it’s Peaches who organises tickets.

    Yes, and the walk does not take 5 minutes with an 86 year old in tow.

  61. Big Raddy says:

    Chas. Don’t be bashful, you are a babe-magnet.

    Peaches is also known as the TRHWP (the raven haired warrior Princess) for obvious reasons

  62. chas says:

    Haha. I’ve never ever been called anything like that before (for good reason).
    Please don’t take the pish.
    Off out to see the UK Subs. Bye.

  63. GunnerN5 says:

    It’s getting closer —– only 50 days to kick off!!!!

  64. glic says:

    How much did we pay for The Pod ?.
    There is no way he will play in that position ( as in, on the left for the Krauts, surely he didn`t score all his goals outwide ? ) for Arsenal, he looked shocking, not just that game, all of them . Reus looked more dangerous in the first 15 minutes when he came on than The Pod did in the whole tournament !.
    Aparrantly , Arsene raved about him ( Reus ), but not enough to spend probably £4 Million more !.
    It must be 2 up front with RVP in the “hole” !. So RVP must be staying !.
    Where`s that Micky, he`s the tactical genius on here !. 🙂
    And before all the Podettes get on saying give him a chance, well I will. Go go Pod !. ( but not on the wing 😳 )

  65. RockyLives says:

    Hello Gentle Folks and Folkesses
    I’ve been travelling for the last few days so have just been catching up.

    And what a lot of good stuff I missed, including a classic TA essay and two fantastic debut Posts.

    Gazillions of great comments too, including a full Redders accounting sheet of our transfer activity! (Has he billed us yet?).

    Hats off to jnyc and Timmy for two very different (but connected) Posts. For what it’s worth, I like Marmite and I like Theo. I wouldn’t like to lose my Marmite and I wouldn’t like to lose my Theo – especially when we haven’t seen yet how he’ll link up with our returning little midfield genius.

    I was in your neck of the woods yesterday but my schedule was crazy or I would have tried to meet up. As it was I didn’t even get to see any of the sausage v pasta game.

    I am really delighted that we have a Post from an African blogger – and a fine one at that. As to the point – I think even the greatest players don’t score 10 out of 10 in all the categories you’ve highlighted (as I’m sure you would agree). Each successful player is a mosaic of abilities and talents and, for all that I admire the way you have categorised the requirements of being a good footballer, I think there is also an ‘ingredient X’ that sparks it all into life.

    I love the idea of RvP fitting into the No 10 role – I’m just not sure that AW will tinker with our formation enough for that to really happen.

  66. glic says:

    How come I always thought Terry was The Raven Haired Wiggy Princess ? 😆

  67. Red Arse says:

    Glich, 🙂

    Rocky ………………………honestly!! ………………spelling, spelling ………should be “Folkessessessess’s. I don’t know what I am going to do with you!! 🙂

    You don’t agree? Just ask my loveliessssssss!

  68. glic says:

    Just a question, is the first home game of the season usually the biggest turnout at The Tavern or is it another particular game ?.

  69. evonne says:

    cc v spurs is the biggest

  70. glic says:

    e va va vonne
    Thats one of the scary games where I like to hide behind the sofa !.

  71. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi California G, many thanks 🙂

    Where about in California are you based?

    Hi RL,

    Agreed, it would be quite a change for Arsene. If he was serious recently, when he said that the Pod, Giroud and RvP can play together up front, then I can only imagine he is thinking of putting the Dutchman in the hole, or on the right wing. The latter would not be a selling point, but the former would.

    Just imagine the speed, power, testosterone, and technical ability on display if we start with The Pod/Gervinho and Theo on the wing and RvP behind Giroud. 😀

    Hi Chas,

    If Evonne thinks you’re handsome than I would take that as fact. As you know, she has a fancy for Rory DeFlap which is the ultimate proof she is in possession of exquisite taste. 😛

  72. evonne says:

    Glic – that’s coz you are a girl. Personally, it is my favourite 🙂

  73. evonne says:

    TA – you are outragous!!


    Alright, since Chas spilled the beans that i look like Georgios Samaras, i can confirm for any one that hasnt seen our Video King that he is the spit of Demis Rousous. The only thing missing when i encountered the Video King was the flowing white robes and the awful singing. hahahaha


    And Cornwall looks like Telly Savalas. Who loves yer baby. hahahaha

  76. Timmy says:

    I think your comment ‘ingredient X’ mirrors my mind on the issue that the GREATNESS factor in a player must be propelled by what I refer to as a certain bit of madness about their overall game play. If you notice all great player has a certain unpredictability about them that qualifies as the little bit of madness.


    Timmy, isnt that unpredictability an expression of there talent? ok, Maradona and Best were a bit crazy, but what about some one like Pele?

  78. evonne says:

    Timmy – in that case I could have been a great player 🙂


    evonne, hahahaha.

  80. glic says:

    Spot on.
    Madness is the missing ingredient that makes great players. Why do you think me and Terry are the greatest players in Broadmoor FC !. It`s by far the greatest nut house the world has ever seen !. 😯
    And by the way Samaras, thats Mrs Savalas to you !.

  81. RockyLives says:

    When is the big derby game against Rampton scheduled for?

    Last time out it was 5-3 to Broadmoor wasn’t it (i.e., five Rampton players killed versus three of your lot 🙂 ).

  82. glic says:

    Yes Rocky 🙂
    It all went off when Rampton accused our Schizophrenic team of playing with more than eleven !.
    Uefa were also test trialing the usage of a Sin Bin in the Loony Bin !.

  83. jnyc says:

    Rocky, we will definitely hang out sometime, let me know when you are down here again. . Its like a sauna in nyc today, so you are lucky you are not still here.

  84. glic says:

    Arsene visited the Loony Bin today. he made a bee line for me, Redders and Terry, he heard that we were Looners, sorry Gooners.
    He asked Redders, ” If you take away our goals conceded 49 from our goals scored 74, what is our goal difference ?”.
    Redders 😯 ” Arse “.
    Arsene repeated the question to Terry.
    Terry 😯 “Telescope”.
    He then asked me the same question. I replied, “25” 💡 . He then asked me how I came to the answer ?. I said, ” easy, I subtracted Terry`s Telescope from Redder`s Arse ! “. 😯

  85. California Gooner says:

    Total Arsenal, I’m based up in Western Marin County, about an hour north of San Francisco — when I can find an excuse, I come into the City to watch games. But it’s a long trip, particularly at 7am, unless i crash at a friend’s house. For several years I was based in Copenhagen, where I’d get to watch the matches with Big Raddy. Those were the days!

  86. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi CG, I have been once to California and totally loved the entire state. We stayed a few days in SF after which we travelled to Reno and the closest I got to the Marin County is by travelling across the GG bridge, just so we could say we ‘did’ it.

    As far as I know, it is a very sparsely populated area with great bio-diversity and general quality of life is high. A little bit different from Copenhagen, I reckon!

    Travelling early in the morning for an hour to see an Arsenal game is commitment. I had to do the same for a while when we lived in Scotland, but it was always worth it! 🙂

    I seem to remember you and BR met up again about 6 months ago in Copenhagen. I have not met him yet, but as you know, he does fantastic pre-match reports which are a treat every time.

  87. weedonald says:

    Timmy…………..what you have provided in your post is Football 101. These are the same basics we teach kids learning the game over a 3-4 year period. the one blatant area even professionals worldwide seem to fail at endlessly is accuracy in shooting. There are two targets most strikers and other shooters seem almost universally to hit: the goalkeeper or the crowd. I remember being amazed at how accurate TH was and how calmly he slotted the ball into the corner of the net, usually when the keeper was mesmerized like a deer in headlights. Bergkamp had the same talent and RVP most certainly does.The 2 current great masters of this art are of course,Messi and Ronaldo.
    IMHO, every decent striker can be trained to target very specific and difficult to defend areas in the goal. After all it is almost 18 m2
    of space to hit and the average keeper is around 6ft. tall (about 1.9 m) and not much wider than .9 m so they only block about 2 m2 when not moving. Watching Buffon yesterday, he seemed to cover all 18m2 easily but that was because Germany were missing some very prime chances.
    Theo CAN be trained to be more accurate, more selective when shooting and more intelligent in holding up the ball so those who want to see the back of him, I say wait and see what he will do this season with the Ox, Podolski,Giroud and RVP playing alongside him.

  88. Gooner In Exile says:


    I think your point on shooting does keepers a disservice. It is the athleticism of keepers that forces the strikers to shoot for the corners more, and hence higher chance of missing. (but then I would say that as I’m in the union of keepers)

    This piece of coaching advice was given by the head of youth academy at Brentford when I was there. (a good twenty or so years ago).

    “hit it as hard as you can and aim for the keepers ankles, if you mishit it it goes in the top corner”

    I do hope things have moved on and now they practice the art of passing it into the net like Thierry used to do.

  89. weedonald says:

    GIE……I wrote my post tongue in cheek as I have rarely seen a keeper NOT move a great deal in a game but my point, as you correctly inferred, was that shooting accuracy is desperately needed at all levels. Passing it into the net is a great way of syaing what I dream of seeing. When I coached women’s Football, I had them try and hit hoola-hoops (anyone remember them) taped to the inside 4 corners of the net. I would tell the player beforehand which hoop they should aim at and off they’d go. It took them about 4-6 weeks of constantly trying to finally hit any hoop I pointed them to. I then installed an electronic light inside the hoops and had a friend wire me up a remote where I could light up a different one at a time. It took my players about 2 weeks to master shooting accurately and hitting the lighted hoop. I then began doing the same exercises with a keeper in place and the hoops in the back of the net. At first the ladies shot at the keeper more often than not but eventually they began to hit the hoops. This improved their accuracy and the keepers ability to stop shots headed towards the corners. This also included heading by the way.
    My technique was copied by a number of men’s clubs but didn’t have the same success, as men tend to want the ¨big¨ net-busting goal, whereas women tend to prefer precision and control.

  90. Gooner In Exile says:

    Did you convince the referee to keep them there for match days?

    I like the hula hoop idea, our coaches weren’t as clever, so put corner flags in the goal (about a foot inside the post). When we used to have shooting practice later on in my playing days I’d guess 90% of shots at me were blasted with as much power as they could muster, and about 75% of them missed the goal. So I can see why it wasn’t successful for the men’s teams.

  91. Timmy says:

    Weedonald, Gie

    When I was in my pre-teen, we play five-a-side, and because the Goal post is not as wide as the standard goal post, to be a good goal poacher, then you have to be accurate. Then we practised shooting accuracy by making sure we aim for the post hitting as often as possible.

  92. MickyDidIt89 says:

    If you lot won’t, I’ll give you something to talk about. Warning served.

  93. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Cancel that.
    Ladies of the house going horse riding. Boys have to take some cats to the vet, and they really really enjoy that 😦

  94. Big Raddy says:

    Expensive morning Micky!

    I loved the way TH could shoot across the GK, Theo started to do so and still has the ability.

  95. Morning all

    New Post ……………………

  96. Paddlejack says:

    I’m sorry timmy, this is a well written piece, an I appreciate the effort, but football just isn’t like that! It’s not like Football Manager, where all this things slot in to place, and there you have it, a “football player”. No football is so much more fluid than that, with delightful grey areas, that allow stuff like giant killing in the FA cup! There is a mystery factor to success in football and that’s what makes it so enthralling to watch

  97. Timmy says:


    You are very correct, it is indeed to all aspect of life that a certain degree of Mystery applies, but you know you can’t really put anybody who’s never played football on the pitch just on the platform of “Mystery”

  98. Paddlejack says:

    Very true timmy! I suppose there is a blend of both sides!

  99. Nisha pahuja says:

    Thanks timmy….!!!

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